Bethwaite History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
It was in the Scottish/English Borderlands that the Strathclyde-Briton people first used the ancient name Bethwaite. It was a name for someone who lived in any of the places so named in Cumberland or Yorkshire, bordering on Scotland. This place-name derived from the Old Norse words for a broad clearing. 
Early Origins of the Bethwaite family
The surname Bethwaite was first found in Cumberland, at Braithwaite, a township, in the parish of Crosthwaite, Allerdale ward above Derwent. Braithwaite is also a hamlet, in the parish of KirkBramwith, union of Doncaster, Upper division of the wapentake of Osgoldcross in the West Riding of Yorkshire. 
"Braithwaite is a characteristic north of England name, occurring in Westmorland, Cumberland, Yorkshire, and Lancashire. A Cumberland parish and West Riding hamlets are thus called. An ancient Westmorland family of Brathwaite or Braithwaite resided at Ambleside, near Kendal, in the 16th and 17th centuries, and afterwards at Warcop and Burneside. " 
The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 had only one listing for the family, that being in Yorkshire: Geoffrey de Braytweyt. But by the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379, there were more listings: Alicia Brathwayt; Willelmus de Brathwat; and Willelmus de Brathwayt. 
Further to the north in Scotland, "the name is found in Edinburgh in the seventeenth century as Breathit and Breathwit." 
Early History of the Bethwaite family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bethwaite research. Another 205 words (15 lines of text) covering the years 1185, 1185, 1744, 1750, 1746, 1791, 1820, 1825, 1711, 1684, 1750, 1588, 1673, 1660, 1633 and 1633 are included under the topic Early Bethwaite History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Bethwaite Spelling Variations
Surnames that evolved in Scotland in the Middle Ages often appear under many spelling variations. These are due to the practice of spelling according to sound in the era before dictionaries had standardized the English language. Bethwaite has appeared as Brathwaite, Brathwait, Braithwaite, Braithwait and many more.
Early Notables of the Bethwaite family (pre 1700)
Notable amongst the family at this time was Richard Braithwaite or Brathwaite (1588-1673), an English poet best known for his 'Drunken Barnaby's Four Journeys.' He "belonged to a Westmorland family who variously spelt their name Brathwaite, Brathwait, Brathwayte, Braithwaite, Braythwait, and Braythwayte. The poet uses indifferently the first three of these forms. His great-grandfather, also Richard, the squire of Ambleside, had one son, Robert, who had two sons, Thomas and James, and five daughters. Thomas, the poet's...
Migration of the Bethwaite family
The North American colonies beckoned, with their ample land and opportunity as their freedom from the persecution suffered by so many Clan families back home. Many Scots even fought against England in the American War of Independence to gain this freedom. Recently, clan societies have allowed the ancestors of these brave Scottish settlers to rediscover their familial roots. Among them: William Braithwaite who settled in Maryland in 1775; Susan Braithwaite with her husband Francis arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with four children in 1822.